As this year quickly draws to a close, I have tried to afford myself the opportunity to reflect on all the happenings of the past year: the joys, struggles, heartaches, triumphs, and simple occurrences of life. By the grace of God, I find myself joyful at the Lord’s sustaining hand in our lives.
We have actually been in one state longer than a year, and have no plans to move. We were blessed to purchase a small farm home at an auction a few months ago. My baby required a minor surgery, but through prayer and wonderful doctors, has recovered amazingly well. My children are growing, learning more and more with each passing day. They are a beautiful vine adorning our home.
In the midst of all these reasons to be thankful, I must also reflect on an area of struggle and difficulty. Namely, my idolatrous trust that food is our medicine and guarantee of health. My idol has been greatly called into question two times in the past year: once with my week-long hospitalization for a nursing infection which triggered a case of rhabdomyolysis (rapid muscle breakdown which stormed my kidneys with toxins), and another time with the recent leukemia diagnosis of our friends’ son.
Why These Afflictions?
I cannot with integrity say that I eat perfectly, but the staples of our home are real foods, traditionally prepared, and heartily eaten. Our days are filled with plenty of sun and activity, and I can probably count on one hand the times we have eaten out this year. Our family friends, following a similar dietary lifestyle, have a viable working farm on their property and the added benefit of fresh spring water.
In light of these things, I have found myself questioning: why, when seeking wisdom and attempting to be good stewards, does sickness afflict us? Why was I taken from my family for a week to lie in a hospital bed? And on a much larger scale, why is the son of our friends in the hospital, his young bride of only a year devotedly by his side? Things were done right — this should not happen. Yet, they did happen and are happening.
Real food and a healthy lifestyle are not guarantees of health; they are NOT a Savior.
Every Breath Comes From Him
The sooner I realize this, the better I will be. Yet I often put my trust in feeding my family well, even though I have come to understand that the ability and strength to feed my family comes from the Lord. My being, my breath, every single breath of those little people and the amazing man at my table, comes from our good Maker.
Would my work be in vain if sickness or death confronted our family? As difficult as it is for me to say it, no! By the grace of God, I have learned from various experiences that physical wasting is not to be most feared. We should fear spiritual wasting. Our bodies, which by the very nature of death proclaim that they will not last forever, are wasting away, but our spirit marches on forever.
We are in a sad state if we rest all our hope upon our health, and neglect the spirit which will exist now and forever!
The Purpose of Real Food
So then I ask, what is the purpose of real food and all the time necessary to prepare it? In the end, the Lord ordains our every breath and does not guarantee good health.
The purpose is: stewardship. Beginning with how we grow or acquire our food, and ending with how we choose to use it for nourishment, stewardship of our food results in, by the grace of God, the physical sustenance we need. And with good health, we can glorify our Creator.
Real Food is a Tool
While in the hospital, I could not enjoy the cafeteria-style food. I nearly cringed with each bite, knowing that the food was processed over and over again, and could not heal me. When the son of our friends was admitted to the hospital, his family rushed to acquire raw foods to cleanse his blood. Food is a tool for health, and I believe it is a very powerful one. However, it is not a guarantee of health.
As I prepare to say goodbye to this year, I realize that I have learned from the good and the difficult. Whether in preparing food or caring for our children, I pray with joy and hope that my end goal might be to bring glory to God. I pray that I will not stake all trust in good health or nutritious food.
Our Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will see me — all of us — through.
Merry Christmas, everyone! What thoughts are you pondering in your heart as we celebrate our Savior's birth?
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